Thursday, August 25, 2011

Foundations of a Family of Faith

By Belinda

The Hartwright siblings written about in yesterday's blog post were the children of Thomas Harwright and Mary Jones.

Thomas Hartwright (Paul's great, great grandfather,) had served as a soldier in the Boer War (1899-1902) and came back to Upton upon Severn, a small town in south Worcestershire. He was living on the streets, a destitute alcoholic, but was taken in by an elderly Christian woman. As a result of her kindness and influence, he found faith, and his life was transformed. Later he had a market garden between Upton upon Severn and Malvern and would take vegetables for sale up to Malvern in a baby carriage.

He married a woman named Mary Jones, a seamstress who had earlier travelled far afield to France. Interestingly, Sam, one of Thomas's great, great grandchildren; studied horticulture and now has a market garden, and his wife Jackie is a seamstress who makes costumes for The Royal Shakespeare Comany in Stratford-upon-Avon. History seems to have repeated itself in their union, three generations later.

Mary and Thomas had four sons and four daughters. Two of the sons, Austin and Cyril, served in the Royal Navy in World War 1, and it was in the navy that Austin learned confectionery skills which he later used to open a shop.

A man named Francis Burston married one of Thomas and Mary's daughters, Marjory. He prayed when World War 1 began that he would not have to touch a gun and God answered his prayer, as he became a batman, a servant to an officer. He caught Typhoid fever but survived the war.

Thomas was instrumental in starting a church in Malvern and in subsequent generations, there have been several pastors among his descendants. 

An elderly woman reached out to help a young man living on the streets and the ripple goes on.


Dave Hingsburger said...

Well, given that we were at Santa's Village today, we are officially in the mood for an old fashioned Christmas story. As a total aside, don't you just love the names of towns and villages in England? They are picturesque in and of themselves!

Belinda said...

I DO love the names of the English towns and villages. I read an hilarious book by Bill Bryson, "Notes from a Small Island." He had a chapter on that very subject. I cried with laughter at parts of that book.

Susan said...

Place Names? How about:

Herring Neck, Too Good Arm, Crow Head, Sop's Arm, Cottlesville, Deadman's Bay, Main Tickle, Comfort Bay, Hearts Content, Blow-Me-Down, Pothead, Come-by-Chance, Dildo, and so many, many more.

Newfoundland is in a class all by itself. :)